HAPPY DAYS - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

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8 years 3 months ago - 8 years 3 months ago #180 by Holladay 111
HAPPY DAYS - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS was created by Holladay 111
Most of us former pupils probably gave little thought as to what went on at the School in the Summer Holidays - and why should we. However, back in 1958 (and possible at other times) Ravenswood, even during the school holidays, echoed to and with the sounds of childrens voices - not screams from ghosts of past tortured pupils but generally happy shouts and laughter.
E Bay is a source of allsorts of interesting items - I look out for anything to do with Ravenswood from its school years and recently purchased a postcard - a copy of which I HOPE I have downloaded to this post. What intrigued me was the writing on the top of the picture - "O = my dormitry) and an "0" circled around the right hand attic window on the South Front.
With the help of David Jacobs of the Jewish Historical Society of England and a back copy of the Jewish Chronicle I have pieced some of the tale together.
In the summer of 1958 (and may be at other occasions) Ravenswood was 'taken over' by a host, maybe even a hoard, of young Jewish children aged between 8 and 13 years of age, many were from Hungary and Egypt and most had been less than 2 years in England. The Holiday Camp, for that is what it was, was organised by EZRA Poale Agudat Israel. EZRA also, in that summer, organised a Holiday Camp for 13 - 17 year olds at St Hildas School, Bridgwater and for 17 years + at Greglands School, Newton Abbot. Activities included trips to the Seaside, Coach Trips, Rambles and visits to local attractions, local activities and indoor activities. For the camp at Ravenswood the AA put up 4 of their Yellow & Black Signposts from the Main Road to Stoodleigh. (as if one could get lost in Devon Lanes!!)
The card which I won on EBay was written by ELIS (or similar) - I presume a boys name; he wrote to whom I believe to be either his sister or close friend who was staying at another of this type of Holiday Camp being held at Brunswick School, Oathall Road, Haywards Heath. (This school closed in the 1960s) This camp was call KOL RINAH Holiday Camp - meaning 'Voice of Joy, or Joyous Voice' - The recipient of the card was a Judith Marcus but the writing on the card says:-
"Dear Judith & Lottie, I am having a lovely time here. We have been on rambles and have had treasure hunts in spite of the weather. We are also leading in dormitry points. Sorry I can't say any more - love Elis.' On the face of the card appears written 'O = my dormitry' and a 'O' around the top right attic window.
I have written DORMITRY as this is the way its was written!

It appears that in the 50s and 60s there were countless of these Jewish Holiday Camps being held in holiday time throughout the country - It is not believed that the EZRA or the KOL RINAH organisations exist today - but - who knows, perhaps someone reading this can add further information. Maybe even Elis, Judith or Lottie might just read this - GET IN TOUCH!

archive.thejc.com/search/reml.jsp?etaf=12045-1378122865279 should work as a link to the Jewish Chronicle Article dated 5 September 1958. see page 34, 5th column to the right headed SUMMER SCHOOLS & CAMPS

Last edit: 8 years 3 months ago by Holladay 111.

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8 years 2 months ago #181 by jvisick
Replied by jvisick on topic HAPPY DAYS - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
I was at Ravenswood between 1946 to 1951. I seem to remoember a boy called Holladay was there at the same time - would he be one of your brothers? I live in Australia now and have only just managed to find out how to work this facebook thing and have had little communication so far. I am awating with keen interst on the date of the next reunion at Stoodleigh. If I could get about 3 month's notice I would certainly organise myself to attend and maybe reunite with a few of my, now aged, contemporaries.
I think, for the most part Ravenswood was a happy school. I used to like the woods a lot and the 2 bomb craters (at least that is what I believed they were) where we made tracks in the clay to run our model cars around. Also the games of hide and seek on wet aftrenoons and the plays and performances at the end of Christmas term. I didn't realy like Fatigues on, I think it was, Thursdays.
Hope to hear from someone soon - particularly of the date of the next reunion.
Regards
Jerry Visick

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8 years 2 months ago - 8 years 2 months ago #182 by Holladay 111
Replied by Holladay 111 on topic HAPPY DAYS - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
File Attachment:



Although I cannot date this image (if I have succeeded in downloading it - always hit and miss) I,m the small lad in the middle, Click to Enlarge - Christopher to the left and Peter to the right were both at Ravenswood during that time period - I suspect it was Peter you are referring to - tall & lanky, ginger hair - Christopher (2 years younger) stocky and dark brown hair.
I will get crucified by them if they discover image on this site !! though unlikely but they did come with only minor persuasion to the last reunion (Mark Granger - v. active on Facebook - organised event and is a live wire in these matters.)

I used to frequent the little copse down by the entrance to the cricket field and that was the area I used with mates to create the roadways and tracks on which I pl;ayed with my Dinkey Toys ! - I often wonder what hidden gems I might discover if I was to run my Metal Detector over the area if only I could get permission!!
I remember - see my posting from way back on this website which have been re posted from the original site - being let loose on the vegetation in the grounds - scythe in hand !! - also using the little Atco mower kept under the Dovecote to cut the grass
paths around the Rose Garden - sacrilege that the current owners have turned it into a Car Park. - Peter used to hitch a ride on the big lawnmower that had attached to it a roller with a seat on it that Mr Leafley (?) used to operate to cut the pitch - I saw somewhere that those large Cork Oaks are no more - its more than just the buildings that need care and attention and as the comments on the Swimming Pool suggest, that too is going to ruin - was it ther in your time or perhaps just after??
If the image hasn't displayed, here's the DROPBOX LINK www.dropbox.com/s/ujtiraizapajhae/PHH-CJ...-RMH-at-Paignton.jpg
Regards
Richard Holladay
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Last edit: 8 years 2 months ago by Holladay 111. Reason: Altering text

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8 years 2 months ago #183 by jvisick
Replied by jvisick on topic HAPPY DAYS - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
Yes I was there when the swimming pol was being built and was completed. It wasn't terrbly successful at first as they didn't have a chlorination system and after a week the water started to turn green. After a month it was almost like soup and it had to be drained and cleaned out. In the final days of my last term they had a competition ther and I won the diving. I think I was presented withthe Chamberlin cup (named after a boy who was at teh school) and Mr Schuster teh headmaster put 2 half crowns in teh bottom of teh cup as an extra reward.
I was also involved with digging out and making the earth wall att eh end of teh shooting range which was a project of Major Hunter's. All part of Fatigues which I didn't like much
so many memories
Regards
Jerry Visick

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7 years 11 months ago #199 by rgmbarnes
Replied by rgmbarnes on topic HAPPY DAYS - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
Thought I would add to my previous message which I wrongly put under Ravenswood 1972, given that I was there in the late 50's. Again I am a bit bored in the Austrian mountains and my wife is again trapped in some European capital. It's quite cold but not really enough snow for skiing. I am the advance guard for the Xmas party.

I have quite a few pictures of football, rugby and cricket teams which when I can retrieve them from my daughters (who get them out occasionally to have a laugh) I will attempt to post. I can remember some names from the teams, especially cricket -- Rimes, Hare-Scott, Mayfield, Gibson, Thom. We seemed to go on long journeys in the mini bus to play other prep schools and sing ten green bottles on the way back up from the Iron Bridge. Like someone else who has posted I recall little triangle and big triangle runs and the hunt which we followed all day and playing in the senior and junior woods.

I have dropped in to the place a few times in the last 15 years and once I took the walk down that grassy path to the church in Stoodleigh which we did every Sunday.

I seem to remember there was a tradition of giving dining room chairs with one's name and dates on the back. I think my parents gave one. Anyone know what happened to these very uncomfortable chairs?

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7 years 9 months ago #202 by rgmbarnes
Replied by rgmbarnes on topic HAPPY DAYS - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
Since I posted something I see that no-one has put up anything except some idiot who wrote about Borussia Dortmund. So I will fill up the space with words about my current life until someone objects. I did have a blog but didn't manage the discipline to keep it going and I don't think it was that interesting to other people.

I am presently in Utrecht. Why? Good question. Holland is the European centre for trading in old British sports cars. I think the reason is partly tax and partly the Dutch propensity for trading rather than making anything. I am trying to buy a TR3A and at the moment there are 2 supposedly good ones for sale here. I had one when I was at Cambridge but it blew up and I couldn't afford to have it repaired. So I am in a sad way trying to recapture my youth. The trouble is that I drove a Healey 3000 Mark 2 today and I think I may be unfaithful and change horses.

The wife is in Monaco supposedly on business. Tomorrow I see the other dealer and then back to Zurich. If anything remotely interesting happens next week I will keep any readers with nothing better to do posted.

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